Attendees at the 2011 Green Fleet Conference (GFC) helped make the fourth annual event the largest, best attended and most dynamic yet. Featuring more than 35 vehicles for the "Ride & Drive" event, numerous educational and informative sessions, and an expo floor packed with products and even more vehicles, GFC 2011 is one for Bobit Business Media’s record books. This year’s theme was "Going Green Just Makes More Cents."
Mayor Dewey Bartlett of Tulsa, Okla., opened the conference with the first keynote speech to a packed house. For his first speaking engagement outside of Oklahoma in his two years as mayor, he spoke to conference attendees about fleet management, compressed natural gas (CNG) and fuel efficiency.
As president of Keener Oil and Gas Co., Bartlett spoke about the city’s first sustainability plan and hiring of the first director of the initiative. Tulsa focuses on a "smart approach to using alternative energy," Bartlett said, and utilizes CST Services to conduct a fleet analysis. Through the analysis, the city realized it was experiencing fleet creep — a common phenomenon in today’s fleets.
The second keynote speech was delivered by John Schaaf, vice president of market development and power solutions for Johnson Controls Inc. Schaaf used his experience with federal policy on vehicle electrification programs to share what he called the "Simple Action Plan": Find your "sweet spot" by baselining your inventory and researching which vehicles and fuel types work best for your fleet; connect to your company’s core values; and create an economic model by evaluating various technologies for the best economic and environmental impact.
Automotive Resources International (ARI), moderated a panel titled, "Coping with Environmental Compliance." Elisa Durand, assistant manager of strategic consulting, environmental and fuel strategies at ARI, led the panelists in a discussion on environmental fleet compliance.
The panel included representatives from Anadarko Petroleum, the State of West Virginia, SCT Fleet Solutions and DIRECTV. They tackled issues such as compliance expectations, challenges experienced with fleet compliance planning.
"Environmental compliance is a major concern for fleets around the world," Durand said. "We work closely with fleets of all sizes and have seen the varying levels of impact these mandates can have. We hope the discussion can help reduce fleet managers’ anxiety and help them take the first step toward compliance."
Next year’s Green Fleet Conference is planned for Oct. 2-3 in Schaumburg, Ill. Additional information and conference materials can be found at www.greenfleetconference.com.